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The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Placemaking

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Overview

Abandoned lots and litter-strewn pathways, or rows of green beans and pockets of wildflowers? Graffiti-marked walls and desolate bus stops, or shady refuges and comfortable seating? What transforms a dingy, inhospitable area into a dynamic gathering place? How do individuals take back their neighborhood?

Neighborhoods decline when the people who live there lose their connection and no longer feel part of their community. Recapturing that sense of belonging and pride of place can...

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The Great Neighborhood Book: A Do-it-Yourself Guide to Placemaking

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Overview

Abandoned lots and litter-strewn pathways, or rows of green beans and pockets of wildflowers? Graffiti-marked walls and desolate bus stops, or shady refuges and comfortable seating? What transforms a dingy, inhospitable area into a dynamic gathering place? How do individuals take back their neighborhood?

Neighborhoods decline when the people who live there lose their connection and no longer feel part of their community. Recapturing that sense of belonging and pride of place can be as simple as planting a civic garden or placing some benches in a park.

The Great Neighborhood Book explains how most struggling communities can be revived, not by vast infusions of cash, not by government, but by the people who live there. The author addresses such challenges as traffic control, crime, comfort and safety, and developing economic vitality. Using a technique called “placemaking”—the process of transforming public space—this exciting guide offers inspiring real-life examples that show the magic that happens when individuals take small steps and motivate others to make change.

This book will motivate not only neighborhood activists and concerned citizens but also urban planners, developers, and policymakers.

Jay Walljasper is a senior fellow of Project for Public Spaces (PPS), whose mission is to create and sustain enriching public places that build communities. He is a former editor of The Utne Reader and currently executive editor of Ode magazine. Inspired by European cities, The Great Neighborhood Book highlights practical solutions for the revitalization of North American cities.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal

What makes a city livable? How do great neighborhoods support economic growth, public safety, art, education, and other positive aspects of community? Walljasper (senior fellow, Project for Public Spaces) argues that vibrant neighborhoods provide myriad intangible benefits to residents and visitors alike. He arranges his treatment of how to nurture better neighborhoods into a series of discussions about public space, addressing leisure, traffic and transportation, safety and crime prevention, economic vitality, environmental concerns, and community celebrations in turn. Real-life examples of neighborhood-specific evolutions, with community energy functioning on its own terms, are provided throughout. But this is not a guide for politicians, city planners, or architects-instead, it is a practical manual for regular folks who live in cities and towns, with arguments predicated on the idea that the people who live in a place are the experts on their own neighborhood. This populist approach is what really sets Walljasper's book apart. The anecdotal photographs (e.g., a family out for an evening walk in their neighborhood) add to the book's accessibility. Highly recommended for high school and public libraries and for academic libraries supporting architecture and urban studies programs.
—Emily-Jane Dawson

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780865715813
  • Publisher: New Society Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/2007
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 586,512
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Project for Public Spaces (PPS) has worked for 30 years in over 1,500 communities in 47 states and 24 countries to create and sustain public places that build communities. PPS was founded to build upon the pioneering Street Life Project of writer-sociologist William H. Whyte, and has published over 14 books and studies.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2012

    Encouraging

    Walljasper offers stories of community building across the country. Something as simple as installing a bench can encourage people to interact.

    This book pairs well with Jane Jacobs' "Life and Death of the American City."

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